Amongst the fresh blood of shows like American Horror Story and comic-book based The Walking Dead, there’s a recent trend of horror movie adaptations hitting TV screens. One of the most surprising success examples, not in terms of ratings but fan popularity, is MTV’s Scream: the TV Series. The basis of the show, Scream (1996), reinvented the horror genre and remains the highest-grossing slasher of all time. In this modern, Netflix-obsessed world it was almost inevitable that a TV adaptation would splatter into our lives at some point. That being said, taking a hugely popular movie franchise and making it an MTV show is risky, to say the least. The show is by no means as successful as its source material, no shocker there, but it follows in the habit of many other shows of the 21st century by having a loyal fan-base (even if the ratings are lacking).
“Everyone knows that if there’s one crucial element to a slasher movie, it’s the killer’s look”
The show focuses on the town of Lakewood, where 20 years ago, a misfit named Brandon James conducted a killing spree, or so the legend says. In true horror fashion, the past begins to haunt the quaint town and before long there’s a new wave of murders. In this world, nothing is as it seems, and everyone is definitely a suspect. It’s a typical slasher movie expanded into seasons, basically.
Everyone knows that if there’s one crucial element to a slasher movie, it’s the killer’s look. Michael Myers had this creepy William Shatner mask, Freddy had the razor claws and Jason used a hockey mask (originally a brown sack). As with Scream (1996), the show’s mask isn’t particularly frightening, though when combined with a flowing black ensemble and a knife, it’s pretty damn scary! The mask, for once, even has its own backstory: a teenage Brandon James wore one similar to cover up his a facial deformity, and this is one of the show’s connection between past and present.
Similarly to the movie franchise’s exposure of horror troupes, the show’s leads are fairly archetypal. Willa Fitzgerald plays Emma Duval, the show’s Sidney Prescott: the girl-next-door protagonist and ‘final girl’ type. Gale Weathers comes in the form of Piper Shaw, portrayed by Amelia Rose Blaire, who’s an investigative journalist and ally to Emma, whilst Connor Weil plays Emma’s shady boyfriend, Will Belmont. The stars of the show though are undeniably John Karna, Carlson Young and Tom Madden, who portray Noah Foster, Brooke Maddox and Jake Fitzgerald respectively. Noah is reminiscent of Randy Meeks: he’s obsessed with all things horror and anyone who loved Scream 4’s Kirby Reed will undoubtedly root for Noah. Brooke is the attractive best-friend of Emma, and daughter of Lakewood’s Mayor. She’s very much a princess yet she’s extremely lovable. Jake is her on-off lover who has some shady dealings with Will, and similarly to Brooke, he’s the bad-boy you just can’t help but like. There’s a couple of other members of the gang, but I’ll let you watch the show to figure out their troupe types.
Both seasons are currently on Netflix, including the recent Halloween special, and the third season is set to air in 2017. It isn’t the most polished show, that’s for sure, but it stays faithful to its roots. If you’re a fan of the Scream franchise, or slashers in general, give it a watch.